Guilt and Responsibility

I suppose the title of this post should really be “Responsibility and Guilt.”

You see, the rational part of my brain believes firmly that we did what needed to be done, and certainly what was best. Unfortunately, the emotional part of my brain is equally convinced that I deserve to die a thousand deaths (preferably by papercut) for “giving up” on a dog – especially my own dog – and let’s face it, when faced with equal amounts of guilt and almost any other emotion, guilt generally comes out on top.

To be clear, this was not a decision we made lightly. It was not a decision of convenience, as these decisions so often are. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The truth is, we made the decision to rehome Juno when it became clear to me that keeping her in this environment was the best decision for ME, not for HER. For Juno, the best move was one right out of here and into a pack she felt comfortable with.

Instead of living for the next 10-15 years with two dogs who despise the very sight of one another, Juno now lives with a wonderful family that adores her as much as we do.  She has children to play with, a work-at-home dad and a mom she shadows in the evenings.  She has both dogs and people in the neighbourhood she has made friends with, and frequently entertains visitors who come specifically to see Her Royal Junebug.

She doesn’t have to live in a world of management, leashes, tie outs, crates, baby gates, stress and tension.  Asking her to do so would have been for me – so that I could see her, love her, snuggle her, play with her and enjoy her company every day.

Juno is not one of those dogs who is easily disturbed, rather she’s a rock-solid girl who tends to roll with the punches.  This was never more true than when her new family came to pick her up.  She recognized them immediately and had to be physically restrained from bounding head first into their car… she never looked back.

Juno - my baby Junebug - smiling in her new home, with her new family.

Today I received the above photo from her new family.  She’s been with them for six weeks and the placement has seemed ideal from the very beginning.  Doesn’t she look happy?  The other dogs were noticeably relieved that she was gone, much more so than I expected, in fact.

So why do I still feel so horribly guilty?

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive, helpful and informative over the last several months.  It has been very appreciated, indeed.  Hopefully I will be back to blogging again soon.

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6 comments on “Guilt and Responsibility

  1. Carolyn Turner says:

    You made a very responsible decision, based on your concern for the welfare of the dogs, rather than your own feelings. Good for you!!!

  2. Karen Palmer says:

    This follows immediately after I posted on my blog about the “Farm or Fenced”, “Forever” home. Yours is another fine example of how responsible dog ownership does not always follow the “forever home” myth–sometimes it just doesn’t work out. And THAT’S OKAY. You are not a bad person, but rather a responsible one. It might not always feel great to let go of a loved companion, but it does sound like you made the correct decision for all of you. I’m happy that it worked out so well for your home and for the new one!

  3. H. Houlahan says:

    So I think of all the clients who had two bitches who wanted to kill one another, and had attempted to do so.

    I lay out what it will take to both train and manage them, in excruciating detail. I explain that I will help them with training and leadership, but that follow-through will be up to them, and will be forever.

    And I recommend that they rehome one of them. Strongly.

    It can be awful hard for a trainer to take her own advice.

  4. Viatecio says:

    I think Karen said it perfectly.

    I had to “rehome” a dog, a Dachshund, that I considered keeping. He wasn’t officially mine, but that was the plan, and I did everything I could to make it work. However, working two full-time jobs was just not the time for me to begin dog ownership, epsecially if it was to be a quality life for him. I could’ve made it work–I know others who would have done it–but I just couldn’t do it at the time. He went back to the owner and is probably laying at her feet, all old and gray, by this time.

    Makes one feel like a pill to have to do things like that sometime, it’s like a skeleton in the closet. But it’s for the best of both worlds.

  5. Kristy says:

    I totally support you. I also totally agree with Karen’s comment. You did the right thing for your family and for Juno.

  6. delicio8 says:

    You did the right thing. Especially since Juno is HAPPY!!!! That’s what counts right? In all relationships?

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